Rethinking Democracy: Innovative Electoral System Proposal


The original text below was part 4 of 7 in an upcoming campaign letter… Signup for the email list at

And now let me talk about our future Presidential elections.

What I envision is quite simple for the Presidency: a national lottery system combined with rank choice voting.

Now, when most people hear “lottery system, they might think of one winner (of m –
— — one winner of money, or in this case, of the election. What most of us mean in the context of an election is that the lottery selects a number of candidates eligible for that position. In this case, all American born citizens 35 years or older could either A) be automatically in the lottery (opt-out system) unless they decided not to be on the national list, or B) manually placing themselves in the lottery pool (opt-in). The second is likely better, as it would narrow the pool.

Every four years, fifty or a hundred or so Americans would be chose at random from the pool, and those would be our beginning Presidential candidates. They would span all (eligible) ages, all parties, many states, many faiths, all professions and education and income levels. I would guess that maybe half would decide within a few weeks that they really didn’t want the job. The rest would begin their campaigns, and within a few weeks, we might be organizing debates for those with the best ideas, or most media attention, including media attention outside the traditional news-media, using an ever-maturing non-partisan social media field. A few more debates might narrow the pool, and whether we hit election day with five major candidates or a crowded field of fifteen, we would use ranked choice voting nationwide.

There’s no need to debate the pros and cons of the Electoral College, this system would be considerably better than either the archaic Elector College or a strict popular vote, as the latter wouldn’t change the underlying party domination or the preference for the rich, famous, or existing federal politicians.

And on the topic of timing: there’s no need for our Presidential elections to suck up 18-24 months of our cognitive bandwidth (and also reduce the power of the sitting President in the process), this system might take anywhere from 2-56 months total, from choosing the candidates from the lottery to the exact implementation of ranked choice voting.

Edited from chatGPT:

The text below is the ‘expanded’ version chatGPT gave when I decided to move the above to a separate blog post, shortening the email. chatGPT had the entire long letter + other content from previous campaign chats.

Rethinking Democracy: An Innovative Electoral System Proposal

Introduction: In today’s political landscape, where disillusionment seems as common as debate, it’s clear that our electoral system is ripe for innovation. The need for a system that truly reflects the diverse voices and concerns of our nation has never been more pressing. In this spirit, I propose a bold new approach to how we select our leaders—a model designed to enhance representation, encourage fresh perspectives, and foster genuine unity.

The Proposal: A National Lottery Combined with Ranked-Choice Voting

National Lottery for Candidate Selection: Imagine an electoral system where every American citizen has a potential stake in the leadership of their country, not just as voters but as potential candidates. Our proposal begins with a national lottery system to select a pool of presidential candidates. This isn’t a call for randomness in leadership but an invitation for every American, regardless of their economic background, education level, or political connections, to have a shot at steering the national dialogue.

  • Opt-in/Opt-out Mechanism: To ensure that only those genuinely interested in serving are considered, the system would include options for citizens to either opt-in or opt-out of the candidate pool.
  • Diversity and Representation: By democratizing the initial stage of candidacy, we open the door to a broader array of voices, from the heartland to the coasts, from every socioeconomic status and walk of life.

Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV): The selected candidates would then be subject to a ranked-choice voting system. This method allows voters to rank candidates by preference, ensuring that the winner enjoys broad support and reducing the polarizing “winner-takes-all” mentality that dominates our current political environment.

  • Encouraging Nuanced Choice: RCV encourages voters to express their true preferences without fear of “wasting” their vote, fostering a more honest and nuanced electoral dialogue.
  • Reducing Partisanship: This system naturally diminishes extreme partisanship by incentivizing candidates to appeal to a broader audience to gain secondary or tertiary ranked votes.

The Impact: This proposal isn’t just about changing how we vote; it’s about transforming our political culture. By leveling the playing field for candidacy and implementing a voting system that rewards consensus and broad appeal, we can begin to heal the divisions that fray our national fabric.

  • Empowering the Electorate: This system empowers voters, giving them a greater sense of ownership and investment in the electoral process and the outcomes it produces.
  • Fostering Unity and Bipartisanship: By encouraging candidates to seek support beyond their base, we foster a political environment where bipartisanship and cross-party dialogue are not just beneficial but necessary for success.

Conclusion: The challenges facing our democracy are significant, but they are not insurmountable. With innovative thinking and a collective will for change, we can reimagine our electoral system in a way that truly serves the American people. This proposal is a starting point for a broader conversation about how we can achieve a more inclusive, representative, and united political future.

Visit our campaign’s website to join the conversation and explore how we can make this vision a reality.